Gold Rush drop RRAC debut to Huston-Tillotson

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NEW ORLEANS — Huston-Tillotson outscored Xavier University of Louisiana 8-2 in the final 2:45 Thursday to earn a 69-64 Red River Athletic Conference men’s basketball victory.

Merdarius Roberts’ basket with 2:42 remaining put the Rams ahead to stay at 63-62. XULA, ranked 15th in the NAIA, missed its final six field-goal attempts, including three 3-pointers in the final 31 seconds.

Matthew Lewis had 24 points and 10 rebounds for Huston-Tillotson (4-10 overall, 2-0 RRAC). Braxton Loving scored 12 points, and Terry Ellis had 10.

Rayshawn Mart scored 18 points, Jalen King a season-high 14 and Makye Richard 10 for XULA (8-2), which made its RRAC debut after competing in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference the previous 40 seasons. King grabbed 10 rebounds in his third double-double of the season.

Huston-Tillotson had a 10-4 advantage in made 3-pointers. Both teams shot 41 percent from the floor, and the Gold Rush had a 43-32 rebound advantage.

XULA will play twice at home this weekend: 4 p.m. Saturday against RRAC member Our Lady of the Lake and 3 p.m. Sunday against non-conference opponent Arkansas Baptist. No fans are allowed at XULA home games through Jan. 15 because of COVID-19.

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